“Rustic Winter Wonderland” Centerpieces

This is the project I’ve been working on constantly since my last post — making 150 crepe paper flowers in white and shades of blue/green, along with 35 birch bark vases. The theme for the decor at this event had already been selected, and, although Emily and I sort of struggled with different ideas for the centerpieces, they turned out pretty cute.

The 6 1/2″ x 15″ bark strips were purchased on Etsy, and I thought they were going to be malleable enough to just wrap around a bottle to create my vases. It wasn’t quite as simple as I thought, because the strips were a bit thicker and stiffer than I expected, and they first needed to be soaked and then curled around a wine bottle using twine (this is the hardest part — gloves are recommended). I let them dry for a couple of days, while my husband cut out 35 circles for the bottom using a 3″ hole saw.


Once the bark was dry, I tightened it just a little (temporarily leaving the string) to fit the wood bottom, then stapled the bark to the base with 4 or 5 staples. Then I cut off the string and tied each vase with 3 pieces of jute.



When I finished the 35 vases, there were some leftover strips, so I used them to cover a couple of larger cylindrical vases which will hold arrangements with a couple of dozen flowers each. These could be used at the check-in table or at the bar.



It would probably have been little easier if I were wrapping bark around containers for all the vases, but this is a charity function, and we are trying to keep costs as low as possible. Besides, crepe paper flowers don’t need a waterproof container.

For most of the colored flowers, I dyed the crepe paper. This time I repeated the technique I had used for streamers, but I also figured out a way to dye whole sheets of flat fold crepe paper. It was really easy, so I’ll be posting the directions soon, along with instructions for making a peony-like flower.

In addition to the flowers, I added some stuff from the woods behind our house — cedar branches, which I spray painted silver, along with some twigs. The metallic spray paint covered really well, but in my test, the painted cedar began to dry and curl after a couple of weeks, so I’ll wait to do those until we’re closer to the event. The arrangements are very light, so I put a couple of rocks in each vase to keep it from tipping over.



I’m almost done making the flowers . . . then on to the little tea light holders and the napkin rings. More later.

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